"There is a limited supply of oil and we have to ensure that we have the ability to satisfy our demand in the future," explained Nabil Nasr, of the Golisano Institute.
Researchers across the country hope to meet transportation demands in a way that's more environmentally friendly. The Rochester Institute of Technology in New York is on the cutting edge. It's created a new sustainability institute to look for answers.
"We are looking at different alternative fuels from biodiesel to ethanol to hydrogen as fuel and also fuel cells," Nasr said. "We are looking at all the alternative fuel options that we have and looking at when some of these options will be ready for broader use."
Alternative fuels are already being used in buses, but often times, change comes at a higher cost.
"It used to cost almost double to buy a hybrid bus as opposed to a regular diesel bus, but we've seen those prices really drop back and today a hybrid bus is only about 50% more," said Mark Aesch with Rochester Transit.
One way to cut down on emissions is to get more people to take public transportation in the first place. U.S. reliance on foreign oil would decrease 40 percent if one in ten Americans used public transportation daily.
"Clearly there's a comfort level with using your car. If we can make it easier and more technologically friendly to understand how to use public transportation with the high price of gas, it's a wonderful alternative for people," Aesch said.
When considering public transportation, you might also want to consider this: You're 79 times safer riding in a bus than driving your own car.